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Football: Indians changing their stripes


by: CORY MIMMS - Practice at Heckard Field. Coach Kaleb Mitchell was hopeful preseason. They added a new defensive coordinator, Paul Roher, who brought with him 33 years of coaching experience. The team looked good all summer, in training camps and practices. They donned fresh jerseys and painted their locker rooms black and orange for the first home game. They won 46-19.

No doubt, their first home game was a success (pronounced: tromping).

But the Indians opened the season with a 28-55 loss in North Bend on Aug. 30. Granted, North Bend is a stronger team than Stayton. They went to state last year and were 11-2 overall.

Of the North Bend game, Mitchell said his team played hard, but they made mistakes they hadn’t made all summer. “We simply couldn’t get out of our own way,” he said.

The Indians opened last season with a 31-58 loss to North Bend and a 27-42 loss to Stayton.

This season, they have one loss and one win early on, but both with major spreads in the points. The loss against North Bend could have been due to first-game jitters—they might have simply needed a game to smooth out their play. But they also could have gotten lucky in the game against Stayton.

In either case, it’s difficult to say how the season will go for them. They’ve improved early, and there’s still two non-league games left before they jump into conference play on Friday, Sept. 27.

A large group of freshmen joined the team this year. The coaches are keeping their eyes on them, but so far none of them are slotted for varsity spots.